Anyone who has been a regular visitor to my humble blog has probably noticed that the globalization of software development has been a frequent topic of mine. In particular, I have been heavily involved over the last 3-4 years with software development in India. Whether you or I like it or not, it looks like am going to continue to be immersed in the topic of globalization. I started a new assignment with a new client recently and this client has very strong ties to China. I could not believe my good fortune when I was given golden opportunity to travel to China for about two weeks of meetings. Wow! A chance to observe the technology sector in China firsthand!
Because of all the language and cultural issues, IBM has made a conscious effort to locate consultants who speak Chinese. I think every Chinese speaking IBM consultant in the US and Canada is on my project! Not that this is a bad thing. Its great to be able to hop in a taxis with a co-worker and have a co-worker interpreter.
Then around 10 AM or so this morning "it" happened. My client got passionate about a particular topic and switched from English to Chinese. Within about 10 seconds all my co-workers had joined in the discussions in Chinese too and "it" hit me. I was the only non-Chinese speaker in the room and there were three different Chinese conversations going on. I didn't take it as they were trying to exclude me. I think it was just easier for the client to express their thoughts clearly. I chose to just let the conversations go on without my interruption. My co-workers updated me later with a summary of their concerns. I have a feeling it won't be the last time either.
If you're interested in reading more about my trip to China, see my posts on China on my "Phil's Folderol" blog.
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